Question PC froze during use. Now PC freezes while attempting to boot into OS, Win10 install media, or Linux live usb

Nov 2, 2019
I am assuming this is a hardware problem because I am experiencing the below issue with a xubuntu live usb.

note: wherever I say "reboot" I mean a cold/hard reboot


While I was playing a game on Windows 10 my pc froze up. I rebooted the computer and it froze at the windows error reporting screen. I rebooted a few more times and the freezing seemed seemed to occur even sooner, at the Windows spinning dots loading symbol. I made a Windows 10 installation usb drive to attempt OS repairs but at this point my monitor stopped being detected at boot, so I could not even see the POST screen or BIOS menu.

Things I have tried:
  • It seems I was able to get my monitor recognized and access the BIOS menu after resetting the BIOS via removing and reinserting the CMOS battery on the MOBO. This may have helped because I had previously disabled the BIOS splash screen which featured a "BIOS Setup" prompt. The prompt also gives me an option for the boot menu. Occasionally during subsequent reboots the monitor is still not detected. I still see no POST screen.
  • I tried to boot a Windows 10 installation usb but the screen freezes shortly into the first graphical menu.
  • I can partially boot a Xubuntu 19.04 live CD usb. On the grub menu I chose to boot into a live desktop with safe graphics mode but the display/computer freezes before I get to a graphical environment.
  • Physically removing the dedicated GPU and connecting the monitor to the MOBO instead produces the same symptoms.
  • Removing all 4 of my 4GB ram sticks and swapping between them in one slot does not change anything.
  • I tried replacing the CMOS battery in case it was dying since I happened to have an extra of the same type. No change.
  • The "CPU", "DRAM", and "VGA" lights on the motherboard are not lit while the computer is on. After powering on, the white DRAM light goes on for a few seconds, then VGA, then the two repeat once more, but nothing after that. I assume this is normal.
  • Lastly, I tried the Xubuntu live boot again but removed the "quiet" kernel parameter to get more info output on the screen. This is where it froze: View:
    . Not sure if any of it is relevant.
Other notes:
  • The computer never freezes while navigating the BIOS menu.
  • I was not updating the BIOS anytime around this problem.
  • I do not overclock anything
  • The hardware monitor in my BIOS menu shows CPU temp resting around 32 degrees Celsius and "System" temp at around 24 degrees Celsius.
  • The computer has not make any unusual noises since this problem started.
  • All fans including PSU and CPU cooler fans spin on power up and continue during freeze ups.
  • The computer never loses power after freezing, although there is a soft reboot after freezing up on the Windows 10 error screen. Does this rule out a failing PSU?
PC info:
  • MOBO: Z170 Krait Gaming
  • CPU: i7-6700k
  • Memory: 4x Crucial 4GB - CT4G4DFS8213
  • PSU: EVGA 600 B1, 80+ BRONZE 600W
  • GPU (currently removed): MSI GeForce GTX 980 TI
Any ideas on what might be causing this? CPU, MOBO, or PSU failure?

Thank you for your time. Let me know if any other info would be helpful.
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